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* t 

TORONTO, December 5, 1952 


The Honourable the Lieutenant-Governor 
of Ontario, in Council. 


I have the honour to present you v/ith 
my Report upon the Inquiry into conditions at the 
Toronto Jail, pursuant to Commission dated the 
9th September, 1952, 

Also submitted is a transcript of the 
proceedings, together with the Exhibits filed. 

I have the honour to be, 
Your obedient Servant, 



Pa g;e 



(i) Appointment and Terms of 

Reference ....... 1 

(ii) Events Leading up to 

Appointment . . , . . . 2 

(iii) Investigation 6 



Method of Escape £ 

Security Measures ....,»...,.. 13 

Events Prior to Escape on Night 
of September 7-8. Guards on duty: 

Stephen Cresswell ........... 1? 

William Starkey . » 18 

William Charles Ewington . .», 19 

John McNulty ...... 20 

John A. Thompson ............ 21 

William J.G.Kendall 21 

Gordon Paul 22 

Joseph M. Corrigan 22 

Saw Blades: 

(i) Dishonest Guards ..... 2k 

(ii) Blades in Shoes 25 

(iii) Workmen in Jail 25 

(iv) Short-Term Prisoners 25 

(v) Quoits 25 

Keys 26 

Clothing 27 

Mo . 9 Hospital 23 

Lights 28 




(a) City 29 

(b) Sheriff of the County of York 30 

(c) Provincial 32 

Morale of Staff 

(i) Pensions 35 

(ii) Days Off 35 

(iii) Salaries 35 

(iv) Status of Employees 37 

(v) Adequacy of Staff . ., 3# 



Overcrowding » . . . . 40 

Security . , t . . . . f . . 41 

Dining Room . . 42 

Mental Hospital . ., , . . « 42 

Tombs Prison , 43 


JAIL STAFF . « 44 

Dutie s , , . . . 44 

Discipline , 44 

Thomas W. Brand 45 

George E. Jacobs 49 

Alexander Noble 49 

Alfred M. Bennett 50 

William J. Woodside ... 50 

John W. Johnson 51 

George A. Heath 51 

Medical Staff 

Dr. William H. Hills 51 

Dr. Gordon A. McLarty 52 

p age 



Treatment *«.,%•............ 53 

Comfort , ,.,...... 54 

Food .. .. 54 

Clothing 55 

Discipline ...» . . . 55 

Exercise » 56 


RECOMMENDATIONS . .. ., .... 5# 

List of Exhibits 62-65 





(i ) Appointment and Terms of Reference, 

By Royal Commission , dated the 9th day of 
September, 1952, I was appointed to enquire into and 
report upon: 

(a) all the circumstances in any way connected with 
the escape from Toronto Jail on or about 
September 3, 1952, of Steve Suchan, Leonard Jackson f 
Edwin Alonzo Boyd, and William Russell Jackson; 

(b) the control, management and administration of the 
Toronto Jail and all matters connected therewith 
or incidental thereto; 

(c) the adequacy of the building with respect to 
accommodation and security; 

(d) the appointment, duties, discipline and personal 
history of the jailor, turnkeys, guards and all 
other members of the staff; and 

(e) the treatment and discipline of the prisoners 

Although the above subjects necessarily 
overlap to a considerable extent, I shall endeavour in the 
following report to deal with the matter under headings 
corresponding to the divisions indicated in the 
Commission, and in the same order. 


(ii) Events leading up t o Appointment . 

On Sunday, the 4th November, 1951, at 8.15 p.m., 
Leonard Jackson, Edwin Alonzo Boyd and William Russell 
Jackson escaped from the Toronto Jail by cutting a bar in 
a window facing on the exercise yard. The bar was cut by 
hacksaw blades operated by men taking turns, in an aperture 
between a screen and the window bars. Entrance to this 
aperture was made possible by other prisoners milling about 
providing a screen and distracting the attention of the 
guard. The prisoners used ropes made out of knotted sheets 
to descend into the yard, and they had a hook made of metal 
which they threw over the coping of the jail wall. This 
was possible as Boyd apparently had Commando training. 
After investigation two guards, who had been at the jail 
for many years, were dismissed for inattention, and the 
Governor, Mr. Charles Sanderson, was reprimanded. Sub- 
sequently, however, the two guards, because of their long 
service, were given non-custodial positions in another 
institution, Mr. Sanderson was given what might be 
regarded as a promotion: he was appointed Governor of 
Burwash Reformatory. 

Fortunately, the men who escaped were 
recaptured during the ensuing months, but not before 
instances of shooting with the police, during one of which 
Sergeant of Detectives Edmond Tong, of the Toronto Police, 
was shot by Steve Suchan and Leonard Jackson. The 
escape of these dangerous criminals naturally caused 
considerable public apprehension, which was increased 
somewhat by the escape of one Cunningham in August, 1952. 
Cunningham had walked out while in a work gang, but was 
soon recaptured. As a result of Cunningham's escape, 
Mayor Lamport, of Toronto, wrote the Minister of Reform 
Institutions suggesting a conference, but after an interview 


with the Deputy Minister he was reassured, and was 
content to leave matters in the hands of the Depart- 
ment (see Exhibits 14 and 15). 

Boyd was returned to the jail on Saturday, 
the 15th March, 1952. On this date Colonel Basher, 
the Deputy Minister of the Department of Reform 
Institutions, went to the jail and discussed security 
precautions with the Governor, Thomas W. Brand, who had 
succeeded Sanderson as Governor in January, 1952. 

Colonel Basher said he issued the following 
oral instructions: 

(1) It was agreed the safest place for Boyd and the 
other dangerous prisoners was in what is known as 
"No. 9 Hospital", a comparatively small room 
formerly used as a hospital, in which four cells 
had been inserted. There were two doors to No. 

9 Hospital, one with the usual grill covering the 
cell corridor, and the other a wooden door with a 
small peephole, which could be locked and bolted. 

(2) The prisoners should not leave the corridor, and 
would be locked in the cells except for exercise 
periods in the corridor, under supervision. 

(3) All furniture should be removed from the corridor 
and the prisoners should be fed, and even have 
baths, in the corridor. 

(4) If Lawyers desired to see the prisoners they 
should do so at the grill. 

(5) On the special instructions of the Minister, the 
men should be kept under constant supervision at 
all times, and that the wooden door should be kept 
open for that purpose. 

I do not think there is the slightest doubt 


that if these precautions had been taken a subsequent 
escape would have been impossible. Unfortunately, as 
we shall see, not one of the above steps was enforced. 

It is greatly to be regretted that Colonel 
Basher did not issue the above instructions in the form 
of written orders, which could also have been given to 
his Inspectors to ensure that the orders were carried 
out. During the interim period between escapes, three 
inspections of the jail were made by the Inspection 
Branch. All Inspectors testified that they had 
received no word of the special instructions, and it is 
clear that they would certainly have observed trhat the 
instructions were not being carried out. Only routine 
inspections were made, and the impression which I gained 
at the hearings was that emphasis was being placed on 
interior economy rather than security matters. Colonel 
Basher also said he did not recall telling the Sheriff 
of the County of the special instructions. 

In his evidence, Mr. Brand indicated that 
what took place was more in the nature of a discussion 
than the issue of orders by Colonel Basher, but he 
acknowledged that it had been agreed that the men should 
be under constant supervision and that the wooden 
door should be open at all times except while prisoners 
from No. 9 Corridor, which is around the corner from 
Mo. 9 Hospital, were passing the entrance to No, 9 
Hospital. He said that after the discussion with 
Colonel Brasher he issued orders accordingly. At first 
he testified that he had given oral instructions re the 
men in No. 9 Hospital to all the Chief Turnkeys. He 
subsequently stated that the instructions had been put 
in force by giving them to Mr. George E. Jacobs, the 
Senior Deputy Governor, with orders to pass them on to 
Mr. Alexander Noble, the Deputy Governor, who carried 


out the duties of Chief Turnkey at night, and the four 
Chief Turnkeys, who divided the two day shifts and 
relieved Mr. Noble on his night off. 

Next after Boyd, Leonard Jackson was returned 
to the jail in a cast. At first he had to be placed in 
No. 3 Hospital because of his condition. It might be 
remarked in passing that after the second escape, as a 
result of information from prisoners, hacksaw blades were 
found on the window ledge of No, 3 Hospital, and the 
sawing of bars had commenced. 

Suchan came in around the 3rd of April, and 
was put in No. 9 Hospital with Boyd, both because of 
security and because he was not well, Later he had 
to go to the Toronto General Hospital, with three 
special guards on duty eight hours each. Subsequently 
he was returned to No, 9 Hospital. The two Jacksons 
finally were placed in the other two cells in the 
hospital corridor. 

On Monday morning, the Sth of September, 1952, 
the guard going on duty at No. 9 Corridor, on 
the first day shift about 7 a.m., found that all four 
prisoners in No. 9 Hospital had escaped. 

The second escape of the same men naturally 
" caused a wide public outcry, particularly as the murder 
trial of Suchan and L. Jackson was set for Tuesday, 
September 9th, 

It is singular that the escape was not 
effected in a slack period, but in one of tension in 
which an escape was feared. 

An investigation was commenced on the morning 
j/ of September lSth by Mr. T.M.Gourlay, Chief Inspector 

of Prisons, Department of Reform Institutions, and lasted 
all day and night. In addition to Mr. Gourlay, witnesses 
were questioned by The Hon. J.W.Foote, V.C., Minister of 


Reform Institutions; Colonel G.H. Basher, O.B.E. , Deputy 
Minister of Reform Institutions; Colonel J.D.Conover, 
Sheriff of the County of York and City of Toronto, and 
Inspector of Detectives J. Nimmo, of the Toronto Police 

Subsequently, on instructions of the Prime 
Minister, Governor Brand, Deputy Governor Noble, and the 
guards who had been on duty the night of the escape, were 
suspended, and the Royal Commission was promptly 
authorized. Colonel Basher, the Deputy Minister, took 
over close supervision of the jail, appointing Mr. John A. 
Graham, the Governor of Mimico Reformatory, as Acting 
Governor. The staff of guards was reinforced by members 
of the Ontario Provincial Police. 

(iii) Investigation . 

Counsel for the Commission were promptly 
appointed, and it was decided that hearings would 
commence at the earliest possible date. Counsel, with 
the assistance of experienced police, prepared to present 
the case. On September 17th the Inquiry opened in 
York County Council Chamber, with Messrs. J. W. Pickup, Q.C., 
C.P. Hope, Q.C., and J. D. Pickup appearing as Counsel for 
the Commission. It was disclosed that the four 
escaped prisoners had been recaptured and re-admitted to 
the jail early on the morning of the hearing. It was 
also learned that it had been decided to proceed at once 
with the murder trial of Suchan and Jackson, and that 
every effort would be made to dispose of the other charges 
against all four prisoners as early as possible. 

While the scope of reference was in no way 
affected by the recapture of the prisoners, it was 
considered that reports of the hearings of the Commission 
appearing at the same time in the press as reports of 
the trials, as well as other factors, might well interfere 

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with fair trials of the prisoners. It was therefore 
decided to postpone hearings until trials of all charges 
had been completed. This resulted in an unfortunate 
but unavoidable delay. 

On September l£th the Commissioner, accompanied 
by Counsel, visited the jail and made a close examination, 
interviewing the Acting Governor and the Chief Turnkey 
on duty. Particular attention was paid to No. 9 
Hospital, on which repairs were already being made. 

It was not found possible to resume the 
hearings until Monday, October 20th, when they were 
opened in the Judge's Chambers, at the City Hall. In 
the interim Mr*. J. W. Pickup, Q.C., the Senior Counsel 
for the Commission, had been appointed Chief Justice of 
Ontario. He was replaced by Mr. George T. Walsh, Q.C,, 
who continued to be assisted by Messrs. C.P. Hope , Q.C., 
and 'J.D. Pickup. Mr. John Deacon appeared as Counsel 
for the City of Toronto. 

Sittings were held continuously, with only 
two days intermission, until they were completed on 
November l&th. Over sixty witnesses were called, some 
of them several times, and eighty-three Exhibits were 
filed. These Exhibits have not been copied, as some of 
those in writing are quite voluminous; also some, such as 
an excellent and useful model of the jail, made by Det. 
Sgt. Inglis of the Toronto Police, are material objects. 
Nevertheless they form a material part of this report, 


Method of Escape « 

It is clear that the escaped prisoners were 
last seen in their cells on the last round of the guards 
at 4.45 a.m. on the morning of the escape. At that 
time the wooden door to the corridor was locked and 
bolted. The escape was not reported or noticed by 
the night staff which went off duty at 7 a.m. This 
was due to the fact that it ^was not the practice for 
the relieving officer in charge to make a tour with the 
one relieved and make a check. Evidently Governor 
Brand believed this was done, as it was required by the 
Regulations, but he had never noticed the omission of 
this procedure. 

Guard George M. Hutchison, who was slated 
for the morning shift, came on duty at 6,55 a.m. He 
went straight to No. 9 Hospital, with the key for the 
wooden door and the cells, accompanied by his partner 
on duty. He opened the wooden door and saw that four 
bars had been sawed from the window in the corridor 
nearest to the grill, and that the prisoners had gone. 
The cells were closed, but not locked. Three bars 
were found in the corridor and one in William Jackson's 
cell. There was a small amount of iron filings on 
the windowsill, some of which were fresh, and some a 
little older. Also found on the sill were some pieces 
of cardboard, which might have been cut from a cigarette 
box. These pieces would fit the saw cuts in the bars. 
He noticed dissolved soap in the basin in Boyd's cell. 
The beds were cold, but one pillow was said to be slightly 
warm. There were two benches, one on top of the other, 


under the escape window; also a table was located under- 
neath a listening microphone which had been installed 
in the corridor, and there was a pillow on the table. 
Hutchison at once reported to the Chief Turnkey and an 
extensive hunt for the prisoners was instituted. 

Close examination was subsequently made of 
the top of a dividing wall which leads to the sidewall 
of the jail, a few feet from the window referred to. 
This wall separates what is known as the graveyard from 
the service yard of the jail. It runs for a few feet 
in an easterly direction, and then northerly to intersect 
the main wall on the northerly boundary of the jail 
property. The brick walls are fifteen feet high and 
twenty two and a half inches wide at the top. The tops 
are slightly pointed in the centre, but there would be 
no difficult}r in walking on them.. A piece of shingle 
on the top of the wall near the window was slightly 
disturbed, and pigeon dirt was smudged. The other 
dirt on the wall was reported hard to disturb. 

For some days no trace was found of the 
escaped prisoners. They were finally arrested in a 
search of some deserted farm buildings in the Township 
of North York on the evening of September 16th. 

Police at the time of arrest found on Boyd 
a metal key which was later found to open the cell doors 
in No. 9 Hospital. It was of thinner metal, but a 
clever copy of the regular key. Also found were guns 
and ammunition. 

Boyd and Suchan were quite willing to talk 
and gave full details of the method of escape to the 
police. As Suchan and Leonard Jackson were sentenced 
to death in the week after they were recaptured, no 
attempt was made to obtain other statements from them. 
Boyd and William Jackson, however , gave a full statement 


later (on October 14th) to Inspector Kelly of the 
Provincial Police, on being informed that he was fact 
finding for the Royal Commission. The various 
statements, although given in the absence of the other 
prisoners, corresponded to a remarkable degree even in 
immaterial details. A summar]^ is as follows: 

Boyd said he tried four keys before the one 
was made which was found on him. This is borne out by 
the fact that a wooden dummy, which would fit the keyhole 
but would not turn the lock, was found hidden in the 
cell. They tried to make keys out of a cup handle, 
shoe horn, etc. and were going to 'give up until they 
found a piece of metal under a wooden sill beneath the 
radiator. Boyd alleged that the key was finally made 
by observing the key which was brought in by the guards. 
They had a small piece of a file and used a hacksaw 
blade to form the key. The cutting of the bars was 
done between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. with hacksaw blades. 
Boyd said they were actually cutting for four weeks 
before their escape. After they cut the bars they made 
a paste of melted soap and sandy dirt off the window to 
match the paint on the bars. He said there were not 
many filings as they had no handle for the hacksaw blades. 

They finally escaped through the window, onto the 
wall, about 5 a.m. Edwin Boyd went first, William Jackson 
second, Leonard Jackson third, and Suchan fourth. It 
was said to the police that the others hoped Suchan 
would not make it, as ' ,; he was the cause of Len's trouble," 
They walked to the junction of the boundary wall and 
then along that wall to the roof of a garage at the 
north-east corner of the graveyard, where they waited 
for an hour. They watched two police who were 
patrolling the north wall of the jail, from stations 



at the north-west and north-east corners. They watched 
until nearly six o'clock before the police came together 
and there was a relief at the north-east corner of the 
jail. About 6 a.m. one officer went back to his 
post at the north-west corner and another officer, who 
had just come on duty, walked around the front of the 
jail to contact the outside jail guard. When a 
motorcycle left with the relieved officer they jumped 
down over the east side of the wall and proceeded to the 
Don Valley. They went up the valley and were chased 
by a police officer about S.30 or £.45 a.m. near Leaside 
station. It is indicated they separated but finally 
assembled in the deserted barn, where they were captured 
later. Jackson was said to have disappeared for a 
day, returning with a new artificial foot and the guns. 
When captured Jackson had on ordinary clothing under his 
jail clothes. 

At first this story was doubted and it was 
thought the prisoners might have escaped by some other 
route with inside assistance. For instance, there was 
a feasible route from No. 9 Hospital downstairs to the 
basement, thence through a door to the scullery and out 
into the coalyard. Another feasible route was through 
a locked door to the graveyard. The most promising 
alternative was to pass through a corridor, passing the 
showerbaths, and into a hall known as the ;f bull-pen :r , 
and hence out through the receiving door. Of course, 
for each route a number of doors would have to be 

After hearing all the evidence, I have no 
hesitation whatsoever in finding that the way of escape 
as related by the prisoners was substantially correct. 
This opinion is in accordance with the unanimous view 


of the experienced officers of the Department and the 
investigating police who were called to testify. As 
I have pointed out, although the stories were given 
apart from each other, they are almost identical. Also 
there is a large amount of corroborative evidence, and 
this evidence verifies facts which could not possibly 
have been known to the prisoners at the time of the 
recapture unless they had been in a position to make 
the observations at the places and times related, 

I do not think it would be of advantage for 
me to outline all the corroborative evidence, but some 
of the most important items are as follows: 

(a) The description of the movements of the 
police outside the jail at the time of escape 
corresponds almost exactly with the evidence given 
by the officers who were on duty. 

(b) The chase around Leaside station was unknown 
to the police investigating the escape until they 
were informed of it by the prisoners. On hearing 
of it they interviewed the C.N.R. officer on duty 
at Leaside station at the time, and his evidence 
was substantially in accordance with that of the 

(c) A wooden model was made of the aperture 
through the window, which at first appeared too 
small for a man to pass through. Experiments 
were made by two well-built police officers, each 
over six feet, and they were able to get through 
the window, with small difficulty, in the manner 
described by the prisoners. 

(d) Leonard Jackson, on his second admission, 
had been deprived of his artificial foot as a 

13 . 

security measure. On X-ray examination the foot 
was found to have a hacksaw blade hidden in it. 
Enquiries were made as to how Jackson could have 
climbed along the wall, jumped off and make his 
way through the Don Valley, for a number of miles, 
without a foot. The police were informed that 
a tin cup had been used, padded with socks and 
torn newspaper. Newspaper torn in the manner 
already described had been found in the cell, and 
socks soiled as might be expected were also 
located. The tin cup was found in the barn in 
a position described to the officers, (Exhibit 69) 

In addition, it seemed extremely unlikely 
that the prisoners would go to all the trouble described, 
and undergo the risk involved, solely for the purpose of 
covering up their actual means of escape. While it is 
possible that all the necessary keys might have been 
collected in the hands of the officer in charge of the 
night shift, the passage of four men was a very risky 
business. Also, in view of the opinion I have formed of 
the character of the officers involved, I think this 
possibility must be excluded. 

Security Measures . 

In addition to the foregoing, after listening 
to a great mass of evidence, it is obvious that the 
security measures in force at the time of the escape 
would make an escape as described, although risky, quite 
possibl- . It is necessary for me to go into these in 
some detail. 

The special security measures prescribed by 
Colonel Basher, the Deputy Minister, have already been 
set out in Part I, page 3. 


At first Boyd was apparently kept in his 
cell as described. In the middle of April, 3oyd f s 
Lawyer complained that his health might suffer, as 
apparently it would be some time before he could be brought 
to trial. The Lawyer's letter was passed on from the 
Sheriff to Colonel Basher. Even before this correspondence 
it appears that Boyd had been taken into the jail yard for 
exercise, apart from the other prisoners, contrary to 
the instructions. This was not objected to by Colonel 
Basher, who also authorized that Boyd be allowed ?T some 
limited freedom within the confines of No. 9 Hospital." 
This appears to have resulted in Boyd and the others, when 
they reached No. 9 Hospital, being allowed in the 
corridor all day, Their oell doors were open at all times 
except at night when they were locked in their cells, as 
were all other prisoners. It should be pointed out 
that if the prisoners were in the cells they could not 
be seen by the guard outside the end of the corridor. 
There is no doubt also that furniture was kept in the 

As previously related, Mr. Brand said he 
told the Chief Turnkeys to pass on the security 
instructions. Even Mr. Jacobs, the Senior Deputy 
Governor, who appeared anxious to back up Mr. Brand, 
does not agree that he got any such instructions, or 
was told to pass them on. Jacobs, Noble, and the four 
Chief Turnkeys - Bennett, Woodside, Johnson and Heath, 
were all contradictory as to what orders were received, 
in fact they indicated there was considerable confusion. 
All agreed they had been told to be particularly careful 
as these wore dangerous prisoners. None acknowledged 
that they were told to have a man outside the door of 
No. 9 Hospital at all times, in fact all agreed that 


this would be impossible with the staff available, Mr. 
Brand alone said if there was not constant supervision 
this was against his orders, but even his evidence 
indicates that the men were not available to carry this 

The evidence is also extremely conflicting 
about keeping the wooden door open at all times. Written 
orders in the Order Book, which were never changed, 
required that it be closed. Mr. Brand said that for the 
first month after Boyd came in it was kept closed, as it 
was desired to isolate the occupants of the Hospital from 
the other prisoners, but he said on the expiration of the 
month he gave orders that it was to be open at all times 
except when prisoners were coming from No. 9 Corridor 
and were passing the door- of the Hospital. Only one 
of the Chief Turnkeys seems to agree that the door was 
to be kept open as described by Mr. Brand. I have no 
hesitation in finding on the evidence that no change was 
ever made of the practice which had been in force for a 
long time. During the night shift, between 5 a.m. and 
7 a.m., particularly on Monday mornings, the work of 
those on duty became extremely heavy. The prisoners who 
were to prepare breakfast had to be aroused, and the 
preparation of breakfast commenced; the prisoners for 
court had to be awakened and fed. As a result of the 
foregoing, the wooden door of No. 9 Hospital was locked 
at the time of the last punch of the time clock before 
5 a.m. and only by chance was there any observation 
inside No. 9 Hospital from 5 a.m. until the day shift came 
on at 7 a.m. I think it is obvious that this became 
known to the prisoners, and was one of the principal 
factors which made the escape possible. 


Events Prior to Escape on Night of September 7-8. 

In order to understand the situation at 
night, it is necessary to go back to the regime of 
Governor Sanderson, For reasons which were not very- 
convincing as related in evidence, he decided to relieve 
Mr. Noble of his duties as Chief Turnkey during the 
day shifts, which were considered the most important. 
At first he put him on unimportant work, such as 
censoring mail, etc. Finally, about a month before Mr. 
Sanderson left, Mr. Noble was placed permanently in 
charge of the night shift, except on nights off, when 
he was relieved by Mr, Jacobs or one of the Chief 
Turnkeys. During his term of office, in order to make 
a better distribution of the staff, which was admittedly 
short at all times, Mr. Sanderson reduced the night 
staff to twelve men, and instituted a patrol system. 
Mr. Noble at once objected to this in writing, contending 
that more men were needed at night, but the staff 
remained at a maximum of twelve. (See Exhibit 60 - 
Instructions Governor Sanderson to Mr. Noble, December 
#, 1951). This number was reduced by days off, 
holidays, illness and absenteeism; often as low as five 
men would report, who sometimes had to look after as 
many as five to six hundred prisoners from 11 o'clock 
at night until 7 o'clock in the morning. That such a 
staff is adequate is contrary to all common sense. 

In addition to the lack of men, Noble 
complains that he did have four good men on the night 
shift and found them all gone on his return from 

Both Jacobs and Noble stated that they 



complained to Mr. Brand about the lack of staff. Mr. 
Brand agreed the staff was low, but mentioned the 
difficulty in obtaining replacements. While Mr. Brand 
did not say he had informed Colonel Brasher that he could 
not carry out the special security arrangements by reason 
of lack of staff, he did obtain from the Department authority 
for more guards in the Summer of 1952. However, due to 
turnover, a net increase of two was the largest that took 
place. The attendance records, which Mr. Brand said he 
looked at every day, clearly show the small number of 
men on duty at night. Both Jacobs and Noble stated that 
this situation was known to the Governor, and in fact 
there were occasions when he had given instructions 
authorizing men to have time off, which reduced, in Mr. 
Noble *s opinion, the night staff below the danger point. 
I do not think either Mr. Sanderson or Mr. Brand fully 
realized the situation at night, particularly between the 
hours of 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., when, there is no doubt in 
my mind, there was not sufficient staff to carry out the 
extra security in No. 9 Hospital, having regard to the 
fact that there were many other dangerous prisoners in 
the jail. Mr. Brand was in the jail at night only two 
or three times, and never between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. 

On the night of the escape there were eight 
men on duty in charge of Noble: 

Stephen Cres swell. This guard had been at one time a 
Deputy Governor but had been demoted. His regular duty 
was to patrol the outside of the jail from 11 p.m. to 
6 a.m., less an hour for lunch. At 6 a.m. he came in 
to assist with the prisoners. His duties were to patrol 
around the jail and punch four stations, one in each 
corner of the outside wall. On the night of the escape 


apparently he duly made his rounds and contacted two 
policemen who were patrolling the jail at the back. As 
we have seen, he was in front of the jail going off duty 
at 6 a.m. and therefore did not see the prisoners get 
down off the east wall. In any event, it was dark at 
6 a.m. Also Cresswell stated he mainly directed his 
attention to the front of the jail, as the police were 
at the back. Cresswell and the policemen all were of 
the opinion that their main worry was attempts at rescue 
by persons outside the jail; the policemen were not 
apprehensive of a second escape, as they believed that 
adequate precautions were being taken by the jail staff. 

William Starkey - a guard since 1927, was stationed at the 
front door. He had three doors to look after,- the 
outside door, the grill just inside the outside door, and 
a grill into the main rotunda, or i? dome i? . He had charge 
of the jail keys, but apparently did not check which 
guards took them. His duties also were (while not 
otherwise engaged) to listen in the Governor's office to 
the microphone listening in to No. 9 Hospital. He 
was relieved by guard Ewington from 2,30 a.m. to 3.30 a.m., 
and when he returned he was told by Ewington that he had 
heard a banging noise in No. 9 Hospital; this had been 
reported to Noble, who had gone to the Hospital to 
investigate. Earlier in the evening Starkey had 
received a telephone call from Det. Sgt. Bolton, in 
charge of Toronto Police Headquarters, College Street, 
asking if anything was wrong. Apparently Bolton had made 
similar checks before, as he was apprehensive of an 
escape attempt. This call was reported to Noble. 
Starkey was busy at the inside gate from 5-30 t>o 6.10 a.m. 
As prisoners were loose in the rotunda no one was 
listening to the microphone at that time. 


William Charles Ewington had been at the jail since 
1951, and was detailed for what is known as Kitchen 
Duties on the night of September 7-3. He relieved 
Cresswell at 1.30 for luncheon period as outside guard; 
he went in at 2.30 and relieved Starkey for his lunch 
period. At 2.45 a.m. he heard slight metallic noises 
over the microphone, as if someone were handling some- 
thing, and then a loud pounding noise. He became alarmed 
and phoned Noble at the picket box. Noble told him to 
stay and listen by the microphone and he would go to No. 
9 Hospital, Noble returned at 3.30 a.m. and asked 
Ewington if he had heard any more. Ewington replied 
that he had not, and Noble said he himself had not heard 
a sound. At 3.45 a,m, Ewington went into the rotunda 
and started to make out the morning count of the men he 
had to feed. It should be explained that the Kitchan 
man was considered a heavy job, and a capable man was 
needed. Ewington proceeded with his work, waking up 
men and seeing that breakfast was provided for those who 
had to be fed. One hundred and ten extra men had to be 
fed that morning. 

It will be seen that it was essential that 
three men should be detailed each night for the above 
duties. Any other men on duty are used for inside 
patrol. The custom was that four men were on regular 
patrol duty; if other men were available they would be 
used on relief. Also, if a man was available, he was 
often sent to watch outside No. 9 Hospital. 

On the night of September 7-$ there were 
five men inside, one acting as relief. The men 
patrolled in pairs, first taking one wing and then the 
other. If they were not on other duties the two men not 
on patrol were posted outside No. 9 and No. 3 corridors, 


as these contained most of the penitentiary type of 

Each round takes approximately twenty five 
minutes, although the times are staggered slightly. At 
the end of each corridor, including No. 9 Hospital 5 one 
man, who has the keys, unlocks the door, and lets the 
other guard in to punch the time clock which he carries. 

John McNulty was one of the other guards on duty on the 
night of the escape. He is 50 years of age, and has 
been five years on the staff, mostly on night duty. 
He started off the night paired with guard Thomson. 
The other team was guards Paul and Kendall, with guard 
Corrigan on relief. Noble accompanied McNulty and 
Thompson on the first visit to No. 9 Hospital at 11.10 p.m. 
There was a night light in the hospital. The usual 
routine was followed - flashlights were turned on the men 
in their cells and also on the windows and bars. While 
McNulty cannot remember whether the wooden door was open 
or closed in the early part of the night, he agreed with 
the overwhelming weight of other evidence that it was 
always locked on the last punch, in accordance with long 
standing orders from all the Chief Turnkeys. He 
considered that the prisoners would know this well. 
McNulty said that the guard not on round or otherwise 
engaged would be sent to the platform outside No. 9 
Hospital. He was so placed at 2.16 a.m., 2.4$ a.m. 
and 3.19 a.m. At 3*35 a.m. while he and his partner 
were punching the clock they let Noble into No. 9 
Hospital. He said Noble stood in front of the door 
until 4 a.m. because of the noises. Noble told them 
to be quiet as he did not wish to disclose that he was 
listening outside the corridor, McNulty also said he 
tried the door of No. 9 Hospital and looked into the 


peephole when they went to get prisoners from No. 9 
corridor, at 6,30 a.m. He said the cell doors were 
closed, but it was a very dim light and he could not see 

John A. Thompson was only employed on August 17, 1952, 
and was put on night duty at once. As already stated, 
he made his first round with McNulty, and Noble accompanied 
them. McNulty stayed outside No. 9 after the round 
was completed. Thompson made a round about 2 a.m. with 
Corrigan, at which time Noble was in the rotunda. Later, 
about 3 a.m., Noble told Thompson to come with him as 
he had heard a noise. They went to the landing, finding 
McNulty there. Noble waited until the round came around 
with the clock and went inside. He remembers Noble saying 
someone had called and it was necessary to be particularly 
careful throughout the night. He said he stayed on the 
landing with Noble until 3.40 a.m. when he started the 
next round, and that Noble was still there when they got 
back at 4.10 a.m. He says that this Monday morning 
was the busiest since he had been there, as there were 
25 to 30 men in beds in each corridor, apart from the 
Kingston corridors. 

William J.G.Kendall had been a guard for three years, 
mostly on night duty. He was at first teamed with Paul 
and said that Noble went in with him on his next visit to 
No. 9 Hospital when he made his punch. He said no one 
was left in front of the hospital on this round, but on 
his round about 2.45 a.m. he saw Noble and Thompson 
listening outside No. 9 Hospital. The last punch was 
made at 4.45 a.m. when no one was outside the door. 
Paul went in and made the- usual check. Kendall says he 
locked the wooden door with the key which he obtained from 


the night key cabinet. Kendall was positive that 
Noble had told him to lock the wooden door on the last 
round and that he had done this when all the other Chief 
Turnkeys and Deputy Governor Jacobs were relieving at 
night: no Chief Turnkey had ever told him to leave the door 
open from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. He remarked that he heard 
Leonard Jackson ask Paul the time about 2.30 a.m. and that 
it was usual when giving the time that it be varied a 
little bit either way. 

Gordon Paul had only been on the staff since August 22nd 
1952, and had always been on night duty. He commenced 
rounds with Kendall and says that he remained in the 
T 'dome s? between rounds. On one of his rounds Leonard 
Jackson asked him if he could keep a little quieter, but 
he did., not reply. On his last trip, about 4.30 a.m., 
he saw all four faces of the prisoners. He said he could 
not just remember seeing anyone posted outside No. 9 
Hospital that night. 

Joseph M. Corrigan came from Scotland, and commenced 
working at the jail on the 12th May, 1952, shortly after 
his arrival from Scotland. He started on night duty 
the last ten days of August, He made it clear that it 
was necessary during the first punch round to make a 
count of the prisoners and inspect the punishment cells 
and the basement. As he was relief man he had to fill 
in on a number of duties, besides relieving on the 
rounds. He remembers seeing McNulty on the landing with 
a view into No. 9 Hospital, and later seeing Noble, 
Thompson and McNulty on this landing. He was motioned. t,o 
keep quiet so that their presence would not be known to 
the prisoners. On a later punch he saw Noble, Thompson 
and Kendall there. Later he relieved on the front door 


and heard about the noise from Ewington. He listened 
at the microphone but reported all quiet to Starkey, who 
took over from him. 

It will be seen from the above that two of 
the men on duty had practically no experience, and one 
had very little, I did not form a particularly high 
opinion of the ability of two others, and the most 
efficient man had to be placed on kitchen duties. Under 
the circumstances, I think Mr. Noble, who was in charge, 
did the best he couldc In his evidence Mr. Brand was 
very definite in laying the blame for the escape on 
Noble. Colonel Basher appeared to concur in this to 
some extent. I do not find this is justified. I think 
it is obvious that if the door of No. 9 Hospital had been 
left open with a guard outside, between the hours of 5 a.m. 
and 7 a.m., the escape would not have been possible, and 
1 cannot find that steps were taken by Mr. Brand to 
ensure that this was done. The routine for guarding 
dangerous prisoners full time was well established. It 
was always adopted when No. 9 Hospital was used as a death 
cell: three extra guards, one for each shift, were 
detailed to sit outside the grill, with the wooden door 
open. When Suchan went to the Toronto General Hospital 
three men were detailed for guard duty. I asked Mr. 
Brand why the same men could not have been put outside No. 
9 Hospital. His reply was that the holiday period was at 
hand and he had not sufficient - I fully realize 
that Mr, Brand was trying to do the best he could under 
trying conditions, which I shall go into more fully 
later, but it seems to me that the failure to keep the 
four prisoners under constant observation must rest on 


his shoulders. If he had not sufficient men to carry 
out Colonel Basher's instructions, he should have so 
informed Colonel Basher. 

Saw Blades . 

It is of course obvious that the escape 
would not have been possible if saw blades had not been 
obtained by the prisoners. It is clear, however, that 
it has been possible for some time for saw blades to get 
into the jail. Some of the ways in which this might 
be effected are as follows: 

(i ) Dishonest Guards. 

A guard by the name of Morrison, who had been 
hired in May 1952, fell under suspicion. He had been 
seen in conversation with Leonard Jackson when he was 
confined in No. 3 Hospital. When accused he admitted 
that he had agreed to help Jackson get out He said 
he supplied Jackson with a screwdriver, and carried letter; 
between Jackson and his wife.. He was communicated with 
by one Watson, who had been a prisoner at the jail and 
was on bail. Watson was well-known as a bad character; 
at the present time he is serving an extended term in 
Kingston Penitentiary for bribing Morrison, and for 
counterfeiting. Morrison said he received a number of 
the right type of saw blades from Watson. He was firm, 
however, in saying he never gave these to Jackson, but 
on instructions gave them to Jackson's wife. Jackson's 
wife testified that she never received any blades from 
Morrison. There is a distinct possibility that she 
telling the truth, and that the blades were smuggled 
by Morrison, Although there is no definite evid< 
bring home dishonesty to any other guards, at least 


who was said to have been seen talking to Watson and 
Morrison, is under suspicion. It is also clear that 
Jackson made a number of overtures to guards, who said 
they refused to have anything to do with him. 

( i i ) Blades in Shoe s. 

We have already seen that a blade was brought 
in in Jackson's false foot. Care is being taken to try 
and detect blades in shoes, but this is always a 
possibility. In fact, at the time of the escape steps 
were being taken by the Sheriff and the City to obtain a 
fluorescope machine for detecting blades. 

(iii) Workmen in Jail. 

From time to time there are a number of 
workmen making repairs in the jail, who might smuggle in 

(iv) Short-Term Prisoners . 

The staff are at all times apprehensive that 
contraband might be brought in by short-term prisoners, 
and by some means passed along to the more dangerous 
prisoners. In this connection, it should be observed 
that in order to raise the morale of the prisoners by 
occupying their time, certain games were introduced which 
sometimes resulted in teams going from one corridor to 
another. This practice ha* now, I believe, been 

(v) Quoits. 

In order to improve the morale of prisoners, 
they were not forced to walk around the exercise yard, 
and a game of quoits was instituted. These quoits were 
made from pieces of ordinary rubber hose, wired in the 
form of a circle: there were at times about 20 of them 


lying around the yard. There was gossip in the jail 
among prisoners at the time of the escape that the blades 
for the escape of Boyd et al had been brought in by means 
of secreting them in quoits and throwing them over the 
jail wall. The evidence indicates this was a distinct 
possibility; while prisoners are searched after exercise 
they are not stripped, 

(vi ) Keys. 

It is evident that a key to the cells of No. 
9 Hospital was essential to the escape. The key, as we 
have seen, was an improvised one, and was found on Boyd 
when arrested. Boyd said it was made from metal which 
he found under a sill oi wood in the cell. I doubt 
very much if this is the truth. In all probability the 
piece of metal was obtained from outside as were the saw 
blades. I do not think Boyd's story that the key was 
made simply by observing the keys in the hands of the 
guards should be credited. Expert evidence indicated, 
however, that it would be possible to make a key by 
putting grease on a piece of metal which would fit into 
the lock and then observing where the lands and grooves 
of the lock interfered with the grease. It was 
possible for prisoners locked in the cells to put their 
hands through the bars and reach the lock. Boyd said 
he had a file as well as the hacksaw blades, I think, 
however, there are distinct possibilities that the 
prisoners, or someone outside, could have obtained 
possession of one of the keys of the cells of No. 9 
Hospital, which were kept in the key cabinets. 

In my opinion the system of handling the keys 
in the jail was grossly inefficient. In fact, no one ied 
to know how many keys there were and no one was responsible 


for their custody. The keys were kept in three cabinets 
located in the corridor outside the Governor f s office. 
The man on the door was supposed to be in charge of the 
keys, but I think it was established on the evidence that 
anyone on the custodial staff could help himself to any 
keys desired at any time., This is particularly so at 
night. Starkey, the guard on duty on the door at night, 
was decidedly vague about the keys. In fact, he said 
there were only two cabinets, whereas as a matter of fact 
there are three. 

The estimates of the number of keys to the 
cells in No, 9 Hospital in existence varied from two to 
four. Some thought that two were in the key cabinets, 
one for day and one for night use, and that two were 
locked up in a safe in the Governor's office. However, 
about the time of the escape a third key was found hanging 
in one of the cabinets. 


When prisoners are admitted to the jail they 
are at once put into jail clothing , including 
underwear and boots. The outer clothing is made out of 
blue denim, indistinguishable from that in general use 
by working men. Consequently a prisoner once he has 
passed the jail door could walk along the street without 
the slightest suspicion being aroused. It appears that 
the practice of using specially marked clothing was 
discontinued about twenty five years ago owing to a change 
of policy in the Department. This has been adopted ss 
a matter of reform generally in penal institutions. It 
is doubted whether this report will affect this established 
policy, but I feel I should express my considered view 
that distinctive clothing is desirable as a security 


measure in institutions such as the Don Jail. 

No, 9 Hospital . 

All parties seem to agree that this was the 
safest place in the jail. Here again, however, the 
element of luck favoured the prisoners. During the 
regime some years ago of Colonel Basher as Governor, 
another escape took place out of the same window, using 
the wall as a means of escape. Colonel Basher therefore 
had the window bricked up and extra security type bars 
placed on the other windows. However, at a later date 
the window at the end of the room was closed, and to provide 
more ventilation the brickwork was removed, hence old 
bars of a soft type of steel were all that the prisoners 
had to cope with. These facts were apparently over- 
looked, or were unknown, to the present senior officers 
of the staff. Actually, the escape window was chosen 
by the prisoners because it was thought more difficult 
to observe by the guards. 

L ights. 

There are lights on the outside of the 

jail building which light up the yards at the rear of the 
jail, but apparently these were not used except when 
there were men in the exercise yard. Other lights were 
provided at the top of the boundary walls, but these shone 
outwards, and all witnesses agreed that they would make 
it impossible for persons patrolling outside of the walls 
to see anyone on the top. This condition has been 
remedied since the escape. It should also be remarked 
that the window of No. 9 Hospital was not visible to 
outside patrols unless they walked back a considerab] 
distance from the walls. No one had it under ob. tion 
on the night of the escape. 



The relevant statutes of the Province of 
Ontario relating to the control of the jail have been 
collected and filed as Exhibit 2. There is what might 
be termed a three-fold control: 

(a ) City . 

From early times in this Province it has been 
the responsibility of the County to maintain a court house 
and a county jail. The Municipal Act, R.S.O. (1950) 
Chapter 243, section 367, also enables a City to erect 
a jail. In the County of York the City Jail, or Don 
Jail as it is known, is used as the jail for both the 
County and the City of Toronto,, The statutory liability 
to provide for the jail is assumed by the City, which is 
reimbursed by the County for its share. The Municipal 
Council is required to ;: keep the jail in repair and 
provide the food, fuel and other supplies required for 
it." The Municipal Act further provides that the I; care" 
of the jail or court house of a city shall be regulated 
by Bylaw of its Council - (section 373). 

Expenses of the Toronto Jail are looked after 
by the City Property Department, under the direction of 
the Board of Control. The City Paymaster also pays the 
salaries of the employees. The City is reimbursed by 
the Province to some extent of the cost of maintenance of 
prisoners charged with certain offences. I do not think 
the terms of reference require that I should enter into 
the division of cost as between the Province and the 


The evidence indicates that the Provincial 
officials, the Sheriff and the Governor have always been 
satisfied with the co-operation of the Property Department 
Supplies and maintenance have been adequate, and every 
effort is made to carry out suggestions. 

On the other hand, the jail is inspected 
several times each year by Supreme and County Court Grand 
Juries, whose presentments are forwarded to the Board of 
Control. For years these presentments have condemned 
the accommodation and conditions at the jail, but their 
representations have been ignored (see Exhibit 40). 

(b) The S h eriff of the County of York. 

The Municipal Act, (section 369, ss.l) 
also provides that the Sheriff shall have the !1 care r; of 
the County Jail, which would appear to be somewhat 
contradictory to section 373 referred to above. 

In practice in the County of York, the 
Sheriff acts as liason between the Governor of the jail 
and the Department of Reform Institutions, although in 
some matters they deal directly. The Sheriff, 
largely through his deputy, exercises general supervision 
of the jail. 

Up to 194$ the Sheriff hired the guards 
and made appointments in theory, but never actually did 
so. Since that time he has interviewed applicants for 
guards and if they are considered possibilities he sends 
them to the Governor. If the Governor agrees that an 
applicant is acceptable he has him given a medical exam- 
ination and returns him to the Sheriff's office. A 
detailed application form is made out and at least two 
references obtained. The documents are then forwarded 
to the Department with recommendation for appointment by 


Order-in-Council. Apparently criminal records are only 
verified in cases of suspicion. However, there is no 
case on record where a guard with a criminal record has 
been hired. Unfortunately, due to working conditions, 
and in particular low wages, there has recently been a 
lack of applicants, and in spite of all efforts by the 
Sheriff it has been impossible to keep up the authorized 
strength. The situation is further aggravated by a large 
turnover of 2 5 to k-0% caused by low morale of the guards. 

The Sheriff is asked his opinion by the 
Department of Reform Institutions on the appointment of 
the Governor. Such appointments and those of the senior 
officers are made by Order-in-Council on the recommendation 
of the Minister of Reform Institutions. Sheriff Conover, 
the present Sheriff, agreed to Governor Brand's appoint- 
ment when it was suggested by Colonel Basher, although he 
did not know Mr. Brand. He said that he has found Mr, 
Brand an excellent officer, co-operative , interested, and 
with constructive ideas. 

With regard to the other officers, I gathered 
the Sheriff's opinion to be that there was difficulty in 
finding officers with sufficient executive ability for 
the senior posts. He was, however, of opinion that the 
Chief Turnkeys generally were capable. 

Careful consideration has been given by me 
to the functions performed by the Sheriff. There is no 
doubt in my mind that the three-fold control causes 
confusion. The Governors were frank in saying they 
were in doubt as to where to look for their orders. 
I have no doubt also that their authority was limited. 
I think that a capable Governor, with adequate assistance, 
should be able to carry on without the assistance and 
control of the Sheriff. I realize the situation is 


entirely different in other counties; jails are often 
small, with limited staff, and the close supervision of 
a responsible official, such as the Sheriff, is 
eminently desirable. Toronto is however the headquarters 
of the Department of Reform Institutions. Also here 
the Sheriff is located in the City Hall, which is nearly 
three miles from the jail. As he has no office in the 
jail his difficulty in exercising supervision is 
apparent. There is obviously much duplication in 
the hiring of guards, which a qualified jail staff should 
be able to eliminate. All officials questioned by me 
at the hearings agreed that the Sheriff might well be 
eliminated from the set-up. >s 

(c ) Provincial . 

The Department of Reform Institutions is 
charged with the administration of The Jails Act, R.S.O. 
(1950) Chapter lSS, which provides for the administration 
and inspection of jails. This Act (section 9) furnishes 
machinery to remedy the situation if an Inspector finds the 
common jail in any County or City "to be out of repair, 
unsafe or unfit for the confinement of prisoners or....... 

if it does not afford sufficient space or room for the 
number of prisoners usually confined therein." After 
a conference between the Inspector and a Committee 
appointed by the municipality, the matter is referred to 
the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The County Council 
is required to provide for the making of repairs, 
alterations or adaitions as required by the decision of 
the Lieutenant Governor in Council. 

Prior to 1943 The Municipal Act provided that 
the Sheriff, in addition to having the care of the County 
Jail, "shall have the appointment of the jailor, jail 


surgeon and other officers of the jail," Since 194$, 
however, the authority to appoint the jailor, jail 
surgeon and other jail employees and fix the salaries 
payable by the County or City is vested in the Lieutenant 
Governor in Council. 

The Department of Reform Institutions is 
also vested with the administration of The Penal and 
Reform Institutions Inspection Act, R.S.,0. (1950) Chapter 
273, and under this Act a jail under The Municipal Act 
is a "penal and reform institution subject to the Act." 

The Toronto Jail is regularly inspected by 
Inspectors of the Department of Reform Institutions, who 
report through the Deputy Minister to the Minister. Mr. 
Gourlay, the Chief Inspector, and Inspectors Ayres and 
Irvine, who made inspections of the jail prior to the 
escape, were called as witnesses. It is obvious that 
with sixty two institutions in the Province to inspect, 
close supervision cannot be maintained by the present 
staff. The reports indicated that general conditions 
were good, as were discipline and management. Some 
improvements in security were suggested, which were 
carried out by the City. There was, however, no 
condemnation of the unsatisfactory conditions disclosed 
by this report, or a finding of insufficient accommodation 
under section 9 of The Jails Act. Undoubtedly these 
conditions had existed for so long that some complacency 
had arisen. 

It is conceded that inspections by the 
Provincial Inspectors was not as detailed as those by the 
jail officers; emphasis is placed on the carrying out of 
the Departmental ulations for Reform Institutions 
(Exhibit 5); complaints are heard from prisoners, and there 


is a check-up on discipline and interior economy. As 
previously pointed out, however, there was no knowledge of 
special security instructions ^iven by the Deputy Minister 
with regard to the prisoners in No. 9 Hospital, hence no 
effort was made to see that these were carried out. 
Although, as I say, close supervision 
cannot be maintained by the present staff of the 
Inspection Branch of the Department of Reform Institutions, 
it is obvious that the Governor operates directly under 
the authority of the Department, and must have recommenda- 
tions for any important changes approved by the 
Department., The Department exercises control by 
bulletins issued from time to time. 


Practically all witnesses called agreed 
that the morale of the custodial staff of the jail was 
low. There are a number of reasons for this. In 
the first place, the work is exacting and hazardous. 
The hours are long; six days of eight hours each (less 
one hour for lunch) per week. While on duty a guard 
is not allowed to leave the jail without permission. 
The jail is often grossly overcrowded; with a capacity 
of 3 Si prisoners there have been as many as 621. Guards 
have to go alone, and unarmed, into corridors containing 
dangerous prisoners. During the daytime there is a 
constant movement, which has to be supervised by the 
guards. Another contributing factor is lack of 
promotion. In addition, the following factors have 
adversely affected morale: 


( i ) Pensions, 

Before 1946 guards received a pension from 
the City. By legislation in that year the power to grant 
such pensions was revoked. In 194$ authority to provide 
pensions was again enacted. Unfortunately, two guards 
retired in the interim and received no pension allowance 
whatsoever; one of these, Alfred King, is still alive. 
Obviously he has been unfairly treated, and special 
provision should be made for him. His situation is known 
and affects the morale of all the staff. 

Under the legislation passed in 194$, a 
pension may be obtained, but it is necessary for old 
employees to make a cash payment to cover back payments 
in order to obtain pensions under The Public Service Act, 
A number, including senior officers, have been unable to 
raise the necessary amount. For example, Doput}' Governor 
Noble would have to pay some ;!>4,000.00. 

(ii) Days Off. 

Also prior to 194$, one and a half days per 
month was allowed for sick time, and if not used these 
days could be accumulated to a maximum of six months. 
These were cancelled without notice (although many of the 
staff had substantial accumulations) as it was considered 
there was no statutory authority since 194$ to make the 
payments. Although sick pay regulations are now again in 
force, there is considerable absenteeism caused by 
reason of the desire to take full advantage of sick time, 
as there is a feeling that accumulations might again be 

( i i i ) Salaries . 

In the past, particularly during the 
depression, the position of guard at the jail was 


considered a desirable one, and this resulted in a good 
type being appointed. It is now most difficult to 
attract the desired type, largely because of inadequate 
remuneration . This, in my opinion, applies to senior 
officers as well as guards. 

In 1946 the remuneration of a guard (turnkey) 
was sl >1400.00, plus $168.00 cost of living bonus, which 
was the same as for civil servants. In this year the 
cost of living bonus was incorporated in the salary, 
which was fixed at $1600.00. 

In 194$ there was an increase in the starting 
rate to ,^1750,00, In the same year the Provincial 
Government commenced paying a cost of living bonus, but 
owing to a disagreement respecting the legal position, 
Toronto guards were never paid this. This unfortunate 
difference of opinion resulted in considerable delay in 
increases for the guards. 

In 1951, as a result of representations by 
the guards and the Sheriff, the starting salary was 
raised to $2240.00. An increase was given to other 
guards, bringing their salary to ; p2400. It was also 
provided that the guards would get an increase of $100,00 
per year, if recommended, up to a maximum of $2640,00. 

While these increases have been substantial, 
it is obvious that they have not kept pace with the general 
increase in other wages during the period. The present 
wage is lower than that of much unskilled labour, and 
married men complain that they are unable to live on the 
money. The amount received should be compared with the 
wages of police in the Toronto area (Exhibit Si) and with 
those for similar duties. For example, at Burwash guards 
arc paid $2340. to :2640. , but are provided with very low 


rental quarters: a single man pays only '^26,00 monthly for 
room and board. 

At the hearing it was reported that the 
salaries of guards was presently under review. 
Undoubtedly the matter must be speedily settled. In 
addition, the salaries of the senior officers should be 
carefully reviewed, to make sure that men of adequate 
ability are attracted. 

While the Governor is provided with a house, 
this in effect keeps him on duty 24 hours a day. He 
receives in addition to the house #4,000.00, plus heat, 
light, etc. 

The Senior Deputy Governor is paid #3300.00; 
the Deputy Governor $3140.00, and the Chief Turnkeys 
receive less than $3000,00. The difficulty of obtaining 
men with good executive ability for this kind of 
remuneration is apparent, 

( i v ) Status of Emp lo yees * 

Witnesses also agreed that the morale of the 
employees is materially affected by uncertainty concerning 
their status. Jail employees in the past were no doubt 
municipal employees. It has now been ruled that they 
are Provincial employees, but their salaries are paid by 
the municipality. hen applications have been made to 
the Provincial authorities for an increase in salary, 
the employees have been informed that while the Govern- 
ment has the power to fix the salaries, these are paid 
by the City and the Government hesitated to raise them 
unless the City agreed, and therefore it would be 
advisable to approach the municipal authorities. On t] 
other hand, the municipal authorities hav ken thi 
stand that the matter is up to the Province, and the 


City contends that it has never objected to pay any 
increases indicated by the Province. Undoubtedly this 
uncertainty must be removed, and the status of jail 
employees as Provincial employees should be recognized, 

( v ) Adequacy of Staff . 

There is no doubt in my mind that the staff 
is overworked, Quite apart from the factors mentioned 
above, I have formed the opinion, upon the evidence, 
that the authorized staff of the jail is not large enough. 
To remedy what I consider is a dangerous situation, I 
think the staff should at once be increased to 95 custodial 
officers, divided into 40 men on the day shift; 2$ on the 
afternoon shift, and 22 on night shift, with 5 extra men 
for emergencies, such as sickness, etc. 


The building of the Toronto jail was 
completed in 1S69. When opened it was considered one 
of the finest penal institutions on the continent. 
It was intended for prisoners serving short sentences and 
for those on remand. The capacity of the jail, as 
already mentioned, is 341 male prisoners, and 40 female 
prisoners. Details are given in Exhibit 12,. If the 
type of prisoners were now the same as that for which 
the jail was originally designed, and the number of 
prisoners were kept within the limits of accommodation, 
in my opinion the jail is still reasonably adequate. 
Unfortunately , however, the jail has become in effect 
a miniature penitentiary, Since it was opened the 
population of the area to be served has increased about 
fourteen times. The jail has to serve as a clearing 
house for all prisoners of the County. It is true that 
only those prisoners serving very short sentences, or 
those necessary for the maintenance of the jail itself, 
are kept in the jail. The other short-term prisoners 
are looked after in Provincial institutions: any serving 
sentences for three months and longer are definitely 
removed. Unfortunately, however, there is always a 
considerable population of dangerous criminals, of what 
is termed the "Kingston type. A number of these 
are on remand awaiting trial. Also men sentenced to 
the penitentiary, who have not signed a waiver of appeal, 
are entitled to remain in the jail for thirty days. 
It is not uncommon for experienced prisoners to wait 
until the last day anc' then serve notice of appeal. 


This involves further delay for transcription of 
evidence, preparation, etc. The prisoners often ask 
for adjournments in order to remain in the jail, A 
large number of appeals are frivolous, many being in 
writing. Lately the number of abandoned appeals has 
been increasing. In addition, new trials are sometimes 
ordered by the Court of Appeal; two trials and two 
appeals are not unusual. The time involved in this 
can well be realized. Not infrequently prisoners 
remain in the jail up to two, or even three years. 
At one time twenty ringleaders of a revolt at Burwash 
Industrial Farm were sent to the Toronto Jail when it 
was overcrowded. The shortness of staff to cope with 
this situation is obvious, and a most unsatisfactory, and 
in fact dangerous, condition has resulted, which should 
be remedied with the least possible delay. 

Overcrowding . 

It is clear that in the past the jail has 
been grossly overcrowded. As mentioned above, as 
many as 621 prisoners were there on one occasion. An 
effort has been made to keep this down by moving prisoners 
as quickly as possible; nevertheless, the Governor has 
no option but to admit prisoners sent him. It is 
obvious that overcrowding will result again in the 
future, particularly in the "'inter, during which season 
the jail population is highest. 

Quite apart from the number of prisoners, 
the jail is inadequate because of the great turnover. 
There have been as many as 169 new prisoners in one day. 
As many as 150 have been known to be admitted on a 
Sunday, and half of these bailed out by the afternoon. 
Over 20,000 a year pass through the jail, or approximately 


one-third of all the prisoners in Ontario. Apparently 
in the daytime it is rare if there is not a patrol 
wagon of some kind or another at the admittance door. 
The handling facilities for this turnover are entirely 
inadequate. Sometimes as many as fifty prisoners are 
waiting in what is known as the "bull pen ;f with little 


There is no doubt that security of the 
jail building is as good as when it was built. It 
is not as old as many jails in this country and in the 
United States. The location is satisfactory, as a 
clearing house must be central. It is clean and 
sanitary. On the other hand, the jail is well behind 
the times by modern standards. Naturally it is 
obsolete, and the weight of evidence is that it cannot 
be satisfactorily modernized at a reasonable cost. 
The principal reason for this is because the cell walls 
are carrying walls. The cells are small and have no 
plumbing fixtures. The security is inadequate to deal 
with the ''Kingston type' of prisoners. 

It has been mentioned that it is impossible 
to lock and unlock cell doors except by an unarmed guard 
going into the corridors filled with dangerous 
prisoners. Modern jails have automatic locking devices 
which may be operated outside grills at the end of 
corridors. It is also impossible for a guard at the 
end of a corridor to see into the cells, and prisoners 
in corridors have access to the windows. th modern 
design there is a corridor next to the windows which 
guards may patrol and look into individual cells. Lie 
tool proof steel is very expensive, and only necessary 


in certain places, the steel used for bars in the Don 
Jail is outmoded. 

Dining Room . 

Generally speaking, all prisoners are fed 
in the dining room, which accommodates one hundred men,, 
and which is reached by a gallery in the "dome". As 
there are no facilities for feeding prisoners in the 
corridors, even dangerous prisoners must be moved into 
the dining room, with inadequate supervision, 

Mental. Hospital , 

This is located in a room 23 ft. by 3^ ft., 
which is said to have space for twelve beds. It is 
generally fairly full and often overcrowded. All 
prisoners remanded for mental examination are put in 
this hospital, whether violent or not. There are no 
facilities for quietening patients other than sedatives, 
and violent patients have to be tied to the bed. This 
is only supposed to be done under orders of a doctor, 
but it does not need much imagination to suspect what 
might happen when the doctor is not readily available. 
Two prisoners act as orderlies. 

The Toronto Psychiatric Hospital was designed 
to look after this type of prisoner. Unfortunate^ 
this is impossible due to the capacity of that hospital, 
which has only sixty beds and has to handle all patients 
in the city including those without criminal elements. 
It is apparently not unusual that a man guilty of no 
crime but suspected of insanity is charged with vagrancy 
in order to get him into custody for examination. He 
goes to the jail mental hospital. 

In my opinion the situation in the menl 
hospital can only bu described as disgraceful in a 
m o d e r n c o mmun i t y . 


Tombs Prison , 

As an example of a modern prison, a 
description was given by Colonel Basher of the newly- 
erected Tombs Prison, in New York City, This is a 
22 storey building situated on a busy thoroughfare. 
On the lower four floors all tool-proof steel is used. 
There are automatic electric alarm devices. There 
are no stairs, and the cell corridors can only be reached 
by elevators, furnished with safety devices. There 
is piped-in tear gas, and X-rays for searching purposes. 
The cells are 9 ft. by 9 ft., much larger than the 
Toronto jail, and are all fitted with plumbing fixtures. 
There are 955 individual cells, which are operated with 
113 men, of which 1$ are on night duty. As in Toronto, 
there are many dangerous prisoners, and there is a 
turnover as high as 400 per day. There is also what is 
known as a n gang i! locking system. 

In 1941 this building cost six and a half 
million dollars, and it is estimated that it would cost 
at least double that at the present time. A jail of 
this size and description would ideally suit the County 
of York, but regard must obviously be had to the huge 
cost, and to the existing facilities at the Don Jail, 
which are reasonably adequate if confined to the purposes 
for which th^y are suited. The quarters are not 
unsuitable for short-term prisoners. Thirty-five 
p^r cent of the inmates arc serving five-day sentences 
for drunkenness, and a great many more are on short 
terms. I think, however, that it is obvious that a 
new security wing is essential, and there should be 
incr...; :>ed handling facilities. In addition, a proper 
hospital should be provided, with at least thirty bed . 
to handle both mental and other cases, unless 
accommodation for mental cases could bo previa I scwh 




Put ie s . 

The appointment of the jail officials has 
beon dealt with in Part III, The duties of the jail 
officials aru to some extent defined by the regulations 
made under The irublic Institutions Inspection Act 
(Exhibit 5), otherwise the y are detailed in orders issued 
issued by the Governor.- There are in existence order 
books for guards and for Chief Turnkeys, which should be 
signed by the officers concerned acknowledging the written 
orders. It is clear, however, that probably owing to 
lack of time, among other reasons, these order books are 
not up-to-date (see Exhibit 73). In fact, in some 
instances they are directly contrary to verbal orders 
which have been issued. The witnesses called indicated 
that there was considerable confusion about orders. It 
is obvious that this situation must be remedied. 
Wherever possible orders should be issued in writing and 
acknowledged b}^ the personnel concerned. 

D isciplin e . 

In spite of the low morale described in Part 
III, the discipline of guards is generally good. While, 
for reasons we have seen, it has been difficult to obtain 
men of the desired qualifications, I definitely formed 
the opinion that the guards generally are of a good type. 
The employees struck mo as conscientious and hard-working 
under trying conditions. Undoubtedly some employees do 
the work of others not so efficient. This must be 
remedied; inefficient members of the staff must be 
relieved of responsible duties or weeded out as 


satisfactory replacements are obtained, and suspects 

Apart from Morrison, whose case I have 
already dealt with, the evidence given before me fell far 
short of establishing connivance with prisoners on the 
part of anyone on the jail staff. However, some 
suspicion was cast on one man, who was suspended, and 
from what I have said it is clear that the possibility 
of inside assistance can by no means be dismissed. 

The personal history and records of the 
members of the staff have been filed as Exhibit 9. I 
do not think there is anything to be gained by 
summarizing these except in the case of senior officers. 
It would be obviously unsatisfactory for me to give my 
opinion of the capabilities of the various guards 
merely from having seen some of them in the witness 
box. Close observation of their performance of duties 
is essential for a proper assessment. I have, however, 
made some observations concerning individual guards in 
Part II. 

The present staff of the jail consists of 
the Governor, Senior Deputy Governor, Deputy Governor, 
4 Chief Turnkeys, 56 Turnkeys (Guards), 2 Counsellors, 
1 Cook, 1 Property man, 1 Clothing man, a Bookkeeper 
and 2 assistants, 1 Clerk, 3 Engineers, 1 Surgeon and 1 
Male Nurse, a total of 84. In the female section there 
are 7 Matrons. 

Thomas V < 7 . Brand , age 43, is the present Governor of the 
jail, and is now under suspension. Before the last 
war he was ngag< d in farming. lie joined the army early 
in the war as a gunner. He worked up through the ranks 
to Regiment rgeant Major, which rank he held when he 


retired in 1946. He served from D-Day until the end 
of the war in Europe, and was awarded the M»B,E. He 
joined the Department in August, 1946, as a guard at 
Burwash. He was first promoted to second in command 
of a shift, and then placed in charge of an outlying 
camp, with the rank of Sergeant. While in this 
position there was a riot at Burwash, which did not 
spread to his camp. This impressed Colonel Basher, who 
six months later had Mr. Brand promoted to be his 
Assistant Superintendent at Guelph Reformatory. He 
held this position until the end of January, 1952, when 
he was moved to the Toronto Jail, After being with 
Governor Sanderson for a week he took over as Governor 
on the 6th February, 1952. 

The conditions described in this report were 
generally in existence at the time he took over, and Mr. 
Brand obviously did his best to cope with a most difficult 
situation, his authority being restricted as described, 
As we have seen, it was only a little over a month after 
his appointment that Boyd was returned to the jail. 

Mr. Brand made a number of recommendations, 
which were mostly carried out, with regard to improve- 
ments and security, among which are the following: 

1. He restricted traffic behind the jail; 

2. Improved facilities for tear gas; 

3. Checked up on the number of knives available; 

4. Attempted to introduce a system of signing for 

5. Placed an armed rifleman on the Isolation 
Hospital overlooking the exercise yard during 
exercise ; 

6. Stopped possibilii Li of inmates getting wher 
the bars had been sawed for the November escape; 


7. Worked out with the police an electric alarm 

system, operating from the Dome , from his office, 
and from his residence, which would bring 50 
police to the jail in three minutes. 

S. Had blankets removed from the tables in the 

9. Searched the exercise yard with a mine detector, 
finding a tin cup, shoe horn and a pair of 
pliers ; 

10. Had a night light put in No. 3 Hospital . 

11. Improved the plumbing fixtures in No. 9 Hospital 
to minimize chance of hiding contraband; 

12. Had fences erected outside the admitting door; 

13. Recommended concertina wire on top of the jail 
walls ; 

14. Recommended more floodlights; 

15. Recommended change of the vehicle park; 

16. Recommended steel cabinet for arms and tear gas; 

17. Recommended more fasteners on window screens; 
1$, Recommended that all jail employees be finger- 
printed and photographed; 

19. Recommended a new grill bu placed at the front 
entrance ; 

20. Recommended that the exercise yard be paved; 

21. Recommended that a lever locking system be 
provided for No. 9 Hospital and the Kingston 

22. Recommended that No. 3 Hospital be divided into 
a four cell unit like No. 9 Hospital. 

23. Recommended that a Visitors' Waiting Room be 
provided outside the jail. 


From what has already been said, Mr. Brand's 
difficulties may well be realized. It was a time 
of strain due to the fact that prisoners knew of riots 
taking place in other institutions. He was also 
greatly hampered by the lack of proper assistance. 
Mr, Jacobs , who was appointed Senior Deputy Governor, 
was almost at once sent on a staff course at Guelph, 
where he was injured during a riot, and he did not 
return until after the escape of the prisoners. Mr. 
Noble, as we have seen, had been placed by Governor 
Sanderson on night duty, and the Chief Turnkeys are 
extremely busy men during their hours of duty. This 
meant that in effect the Governor had no Deputy and was 
virtually on duty twenty four hours a day. Naturally he 
felt the strain of this situation. One must have 
sympathy for Mr 6 Brand under the situation described. 
If he had been provided with an adequate staff the 
escape might well not have happened. Nevertheless, 
as I have remarked, I feel that the responsibility of 
not keeping the four prisoners who e scaped under 
constant supervision fell upon his shoulders. I have 
reached the conclusion that Mr, Brand did not have the 
executive ability nor experience to cope with the 
difficult situation with which he was faced, and which 
to a considerable extent still exists. He is an 
energetic and conscientious employee, and undoubtedly 
will be a useful servant of the Department in years to 
come. It must, however, be realized that he only had 
about six years rience in penal institutions, a 
considerable portion of which was in subordinate 
capacities, when he was appointed. Governor. 


G eorge E, Jacobs was appointed Senior Deputy Governor 
in April 1952, on the recommendations of Mr. Brand and 
the Sheriff, no doubt with the approval of the 
Departmental Inspectors. He has been with the jail 
twenty two years, and has performed in every capacity. 
He joined the Department after being with the Royal 
Canadian Regiment from 1921 to 1926, having been 
discharged with the rank of Corporal. As previously 
stated, he was sbent at the time of the escape. He 
was, however, on duty three nights relieving Noble just 
before he left to take the staff course at Guelph. 
Mr. Jacobs testified he had an order that a man should 
be in Wo,. 9 Hospital at all times, but he was 
perfectly frank in stating that he did not have enough 
men to do so. Mr. Jacobs impressed me as a conscientious 
officer, capable of carrying out his duties under proper 
direction. It should be noted that he has never 
actually performed the duties of Senior Deputy Governor. 

Alexander Noble, age 60, now under suspension, is 
Deputy Governor, and has held that office for three 
years. However, he has alv r ays acted as Chief Turnkey, 
or has been in charge at ni r .ht, and has never performed 
the duties of Deputy Governor, He has been at the jail 
since 1927, and is obviously experienced., I think 1 , 
also is a conscientious officer. e had 

nothing against his record and was apparently well 
thought of by Governors until the re r. 
Sanderson, who, as aire I, did not a 

similar view, i ntly pa 01 r, 

n : e latter w | nted Governor. As 
previously : I id, tl del tttera le 

'■ »ve3 nor and oth ..■•■ . ice 1 I 


escape on Mr, Noble, which I do not think was justified. 
While Mr. Noble ? s supervision and work at night might 
in some respects have been improved upon, in my view he 
did the best that could have been reasonably expected 
with the means at his disposal. He never ceased to 
complain of the dangerous situation due to inadequate 
staff . Mr. Noble, to my mind^ had a much better 
idea of the situation at night than Mr. Sanderson or 
Mr. Brand. For instance, he pointed out that 
sometimes there were two to three hundred men to be fed 
between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the one dining room, holding 
only one hundred, and there are only 90 cups. This, 
and the other work described, had to be handled with as 
low as five men. However, as explained, he has never 
actually performed the duties of Deputy Governor, and 
it is impossible for me to decide as to his executive 

Unfortunately, but perhaps not unnaturally, 
bad feeling exists between Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Noble, 
which has resulted in an intolerable situation. Each 
is continually reporting the other to the Governor, and 
complains that the other one is not telling the truth. 

Alf r ed M . Bennett has been a Chief Turnkey for three 
and a half years. He has had twenty four years service, 
and consequently is not young. He was on duty relieving 
Noble the night before the escape. His idea of the 
orders and procedure at night coincide almost entirely 
with that of Noble. He also impressed me as a 
conscientious employee. 

William J. V/o odside has been a Chief Turnkey for oi 

ar and five months, after eight years service. He 
had an excellent military record and was in tl 


and Canadian armies for twelve years. He was awarded 
the Military Medal. He struck me as being energetic 
and efficient. In evidence he said: "Orders both 
verbal and written came out so fast you cannot keep 
track of them. You would need a secretary to keep 
track, ;i 

John W. Johnson has been a Chief Turnkey since 1949, 
after seven years service at the jail. He has, 
however, been with the Department since 1929. He 
also seemed confused about the night time orders. 

■ o 

Ge orge A, Heath has been a Chief Turnkey for nearly 
four years. He went to the jail in 1946. Mr. Heath 
impressed me as definitely energetic and with ideas. 
He indicated in evidence that there had been considerable 
slackening of discipline of prisoners and that guards 
in some instances were not backed up when they made 
complaints. This, however, he says, is much improved 
since the escape. 

I concur in the. view of Governor Brand that 
all four Chief Turnkeys are capable of carrying out their 
duties. They take turns on the two day- shifts and 
relieving Noble at night. Sometimes there is an extra 
Chief Turnkey available for assistance during the 
daytime . 


Dr. William H. Hi lls has been th. J; il Surgeon for f 
and a half yeai , He I ad considerable traininj 
other penal institutions, and is, I feel, fully 
qualified for his position, 
hospital is totally inadequate. He wo ' I U ' 


see the general hospital accommodation improved, 
although serious cases are immediately sent to the 
Toronto General Hospital. He examines all inmates 
as soon as they are admitted. A few complaints reached 
the Commission to the effect that cases had not been 
attended to. However, the Provincial Inspectors, 
Governor, and Chief Turnkeys all testified that they 
gave prisoners full opportunity to make complaints, and 
investigated all that were made. They said that on 
investigation, any complaints that came to their attention 
concerning medical attention were found unjustified. 

His work is very onerous; for example, 
sometimes on Mondays one hundred men have to be 
examined. While there have been some cases of drugs 
being smuggled into the jail, Dr. Hills felt certain 
that this happened very seldom. 

Dr. Gordon A. McLart y is a specialist in nervous and 
mental diseases on the staff of the Toronto General 
Hospital. Since 1934 he has done mental examinations 
at the jail, and he substitutes for Dr. Hills when that 
doctor is away. Dr. McLarty deplored the fact that all 
mental cases, violent or otherwise, had to be placed in 
one ward. He also suggested that there could be 
improvement in the existing jail hospitals for non- 
mental cases. 

In addition to the doctors, there are 
three men employed as guards and assigned as medical 
orderlies. Two of these hav ntal experience. One 
of these is on duty at all times, working directly 
under the instructions of the doctor. 




Treatment . 

There is no suggestion of any brutal treat- 
ment of the prisoners. In fact, the evidence indicated 
that the recent tendency had been to relax restrictions. 
Commencing with Mr. Sanderson, efforts were made to 
occupy the prisoners' time by the introduction of such 
games as Quoits, and a substitute for bowling in the 
corridors. These changes were said to be beneficial 
except that some privileges given had to be cancelled 
because of abuse. 

Governor Sanderson has made a considerable 
study with regard to the treatment of prisoners, and has 
lectured on this subject at Provincial staff courses. 
The treatment of jail prisoners is a difficult problem 
because the short stay of most prisoners prevents 
introduction of educational and occupational systems 
usually in force in reformatories. 

Two Counsellors have been appointed, whose 
duties are to look after the needs of the prisoners. 
They supervise recreation, talk to the prisoners, look 
after outside errands for them, and supervise the purchase 
of newspapers, tobacco, etc. 

I think it is obvious that every prisoner 
who is charged by a guard is given a fair trial, and 
I am convinced his complaints are given serious 
consideration by the Governor and the Inspection staf '. 

In general, tho treatment, of prisoners should 
be described as good. 


Comfort , 

While prisoners during daytime have the 
run of the corridors outside the cells, their general 
comfort could undoubtedly be better . The cells are 
very small and have no toilet facilities, necessitating 
the use of night pails. Daytime toilet and washing 
facilities are available in the corridors. There are, 
however, beds with sheets and pillow cases, as well as 
blankets. There has never been any complaint about 
the heating. 

I have already mentioned the fact that due 
to overcrowding beds have often to be placed in the 
corridors, under most unsatisfactory conditions. 

Food , 

All senior officers, including the Inspection 
staff, were of opinion that good food was purchased, 
and it was prepared in an appetizing way. There is 
an experienced Chef, and prisoners assisting in the 
cooking are well supervised. Special attention is 
given to the service of meals; for instance, even when 
these are served in the corridors tablecloths have been 

I am convinced that careful attention is 
given to the food by the Provincial Inspectors, whose 
visits are surprise ones. 

The principal difficulty with the food is 
its monotony, as menus cannot be changed much more than 
weekly. ile good fresh meat is obtained, it is of 
course not of the best cut, and probably not too 
sea id. nus were filed (Exhibit 64) they 
certainly appeared adequate. 


I must find the jail food is good and 
compares favourably with other penal institutions. 

Clothing; . 

Apart from the security element, which I 
have dealt with elsewhere, the clothing issued is 
adequate and suitable, 

Disc ipline . 

The evidence of some witnesses indicated 
that there had been deterioration in the discipline 
owing to the relaxation of rules for recreational 
facilities. Since the escape,, however, there has been 
considerable improvement, and I now feel that discipline 
of prisoners is' good. 

Examination of the punishment book indicates 
that strappings of prisoners have been ordered to about 
the same extent by all recent Governors. Penalties 
awarded were similar. Some of the penalties strike 
me as rather small: for instance, three days solitary 
confinement for being in possession of a file. Also 
the evidence disclosed that prisoners, in particular 
Leonard Jackson, made repeated efforts to bribe employees. 
While these were almost invariably reported, no steps 
were taken to discipline the prisoners. I think 
prisoners should understand that any attempt to win 
over a guard would be seriously regarded. 

I received through the mail bitter complaints 
regarding treal b, from VJatson, who I have already 
mentioned as an associate of Boy al . I therefore 
made caruful enquiry into the circu ' which 



complained. It appears that after the escape there 
was considerable unrest in the jail. Mr. Graham, the 
Acting Governor, heard a persistent rumour that there 
would be disturbances in the dining hall. He there- 
fore ordered feeding in the corridors of the ''Kingston 
t3rpe n prisoners. The prisoners would not eat, and 
tension increased; they plugged cell keyholes to prevent 
locking of the cells, and packs had to be removed by 
the guards. Some prisoners regarded as dangerous were 
moved, but other prisoners commenced to cause noise. 
Upon the Governor speaking to them, what is known as 
" jammer ing", i.e. the making of continuous hub-hub 
or hammering with cups, etc. commenced. Five ring- 
leaders were picked out and tried, and on what the 
Governor considered ample evidence they were convicted 
and sentenced to the strap. The approval of the Deputy 
Minister was necessary for this sentence. This was 
promptly obtained as he happened to be in the jail 
superintending operations. Colonel Basher and Mr. 
Graham, and other witnesses, were definite that Watson 
was defiantly insolent both to the Deput}r Minister and 
the Governor, apparently in the belief that the strap 
would not be administered. Undoubtedly this firm 
application of disciplinary measures has had beneficial 
results. I feel also that a further improvement in 
discipline is bound to result after an adequate staff 
is provided and proper security quarters provided for 
dangerous criminals. 

Exercir . 

Exercise is provided for in the -incial 
Regulations, and to i y i.nd is adequate. In fact I 
think that Regulation 47 (see Exhibit 5) is in need of 


amendment to give more discretion to the Governor to 
restrict exercise in the open air. Under the 
Regulations at present framed it is stated: "Every 
prisoner should be allowed out unless he is under 
sentence of death, attempts to escape, is found to be 
plotting to escape, or misconducts himself." This 
excludes close supervision of dangerous criminals 
and those who have attempted to escape or have caused 
trouble on other occasions while in custody. 



The following recommendations are 
respectfully made : - 

(1) Obviously the chain of responsibility at 
the jail is not working. There must be a new set-up 
of the Senior Officer s s including: 

(a) Appointment of a Governor of sufficient 
executive ability, with full responsibility 
to clear up the present situation; 

(b) His salary should be adequate to attract 
someone with the necessary qualifications; 

(c) He must be given full authority and 
sufficient administrative assistance so that 
he will, as far as possible, be relieved of 
detail. Weight must be given to his 

re commendations as to appointment of 

(2) A review of salaries of jail employees 
should be instituted immediately. Salaries should 
be fixed at amounts which will attract the desired 
type of employee, and are comparable with wage rates 
in the area and those for similar duties. The 
authority to do this rests with the Province; I was 
assured at the hearing that the City authorities would 
have no objection to paying salaries so fixed. Jail 
personnel should be definitely recognised as Provincial 

Earnest consideration should be given to 
the matter of pensions; the situation is described p. 3 5 


(3) The staff for the present accommodation 
should be increased to approximately 95 custodial 
officers, divided into 40 on day shift, 25 on afternoon 
shift, and 22 on night shift, with 5 extra for emergencies. 

(4) A system of training of new guards is 
essential. The increased staff should render this 
possible . 

(5) After the appointment of a Governor with 
adequate assistance, I think that existing legislation 
should be amended so as to relieve the Sheriff from all 
responsibilities connected with the jail, 

(6) There should be more attention given on 
inspections by the Provincial staff to security measures: 
examples are the lack of check-up in the handling of 
keys (described on pages 26 and 27), and the inadequate 
inspection of window bars in the daytime when cell 
corridors are empty. 

Consideration might be given to an increase 
in the inspection staff, 

(7) A new security wing, capable of accommodating 
250 of the more dangerous type of prisoners, should be 
built without delay, on land adjacent to the jail owned 
by the City. It could be connected with the existing 
building by tunnel or otherwise. The new building 
should be provided with safety cell blocks and other 
modern security measures. If construction is not 
promptly undertaken by the Municipal admini; >n, -the 
procedure set out in section 9 of The Jails Act may be 
invoked; most of the conditions described in subsection 
(1) of section 9 in my opinion definitely exist. The 


new wing could be added to from time to time as need 
arises, until ultimately the old building is superseded. 

The Governor should have full authority 
to designate what prisoners should be detained in the 
new security wing. 

(#) If arrangements cannot be made to handle 
mental prisoners somewhere else, a new hospital to 
contain 30 beds should be constructed, possibly in the 
new wing, for all sick including mental patients. In 
any event the present mental hospital should be closed. 
Trained staff, instead of inmates, should be provided 
for mental patients. 

(9) While I am convinced the present jail building 
cannot be efficiently modernized, some improvements in 
security should be made: for example, improvement in the 
window screens in the corridors. Since the escape much 
has been done, such as reconstruction in No, 9 Hospital, 
improvement of walls around the jail, and exterior 

(10) It is essential that adequate handling 
facilities be provided to look after the huge turnover 
of prisoners. These facilities may have to be provided 
in the new v/ing. 

(11) Regulation 47 should be amended to increase 
the Governor's authority regard!: restriction of 
exercise of dangerous prisoners (see page 56), and he 
should have full authority with respect to security 
measures for such prisoners. 

(12) For security reasons clothing issued to 


prisoners should be marked so that it may so be easily 
recognized in case of escape. 

In conclusion, I should like to express 
my appreciation to Counsel for their helpful presentation 
of the evidence. I am also grateful to Inspector 
Kelly of the Ontario Provincial Police, and Det* Sgt. 
Simmons of the Toronto Police, for their assistance in 
preparation and at the hearings. I also wish to 
thank the other police officers who testified, 
particularly Det. Sgt. Inglis for his excellent model of 
the jail and the photographs submitted (Exhibits 3 and 



1. Commission appointing His Honour Judge Macdonell. 

2. Selected relevant Statutes of Ontario. 

3. Photographs of Jail (1 to 20). 

4. Scale Model of Jail. 

5. Regulations made under The Public Institutions 
Inspection Act. 

6. Regulations made under The Municipal Act. 

7. Civil Service Commission of Ontario re employment of 
jail guards. 

$. List of employees of Toronto Jail. 

9. Personal files of all jail employees (3 tied bundles) 

10. Blueprint plans of Toronto Jail. 

11. Cell key and lock. 

12. Summary of Accommodation of Jail. 

13. Report of Evidence taken at investigation by T. 
Gourlay et al, September $, 1952. 

14. Letter dated August 14, 1952; Mayor Lamport to 
Major Foote. 

15. Memorandum dated August 15, 1952; Colonel Basher 
to Mayor Lamport. 

16. (a) and (b) Files pertaining to ex-Guard James 

17* Copy of Information and Complaint re ex-Guard 

IS. Statement of cost for salaries and maintenance, 
September 10, 1952, re Jail. 

19. Inspection Report of Mr. Ayres, March 12 & 13, 1952. 

20. Two Inspection Reports of J. Irvine; August 11, 1952, 
and R. Ayres of June 4, 1952. 

21. Inspection Reports of 1950-1951. 

22. Charts of Watchmen's Clock, Inside Patrol. 

23. Charts of Watchmen's Clock, Outside Patrol. 

24. Two files re dismissed guards Bennett & Latimer. 

25. Copy of Order-in-Council, #0C 2207/51, re Bonus. 

26. Breakdown of Toronto Jail Count as at 2.30 p.m. 
October 21, 1952. 

27. Specimens of Departmental Bulletin of T.M. Gourlay 

2£. Chief Turnkey's report, September 7, 1952 (Heath, 
Woodside and guard's reports attached). 


29. Specimen copy of guard's report, 

30. Jail Inspection Reports of Ayres (October 10 & 

11, 1951); Harden (August 3, 1951), and Lough (May 
3, 9 and 10, 1951). 

31. Metal "key T? found on Boyd, 

32. Inspector Ayres report after investigation, 
November, 1951. 

33. Memo, of Minister of Dept. of Reform Institutions, 
dated November 23, 1949. 

34. 1951 Annual Report of Dept. of Reform Institutions. 

35. Copy of letter April 10, 1952, McMahon to Conover; 
letter April 17, 1952, Conover to Basher; copy of 
letter April 1$, 1952, Basher to Conover. 

36. Correspondence of Sheriff Conover re purchase of 
fluoroscopic unit. 

37. X-ray photographs of Len. Jackson ? s boot. 

3$. X-ray photographs of Len. Jackson's civilian shoes. 


39. Correspondence of Sheriff Conover, June 13, 1952 
to Major Foote and Mayor Lamport; letter April 10, 
1951, to then Mayor McCallum; and reply April 21, 

40. Grand Jury Reports. 

41. Three sawed bars. 

42. Photograph of escape window (Dr. Smith). 

43. Three pieces of cardboard from window ledge. 

44. Wood form of key. 

45. Pieces of newspaper found in #9 Hospital. 

46. Two hacksaw blades. 

47. Scale model of escape window, 

4#. Criminal records of the four escapees. 

49. Deputy Governor Noble T s report of 11:7 Shift, 
September 7 and £, 1952. 

50. Letter to Sheriff Conover concerning shortage of 
staff from Governor Brand, dated April 23, 1952; 
Gourlay letter to Sheriff Conover, April 2$, 1952. 

51. Copy of Governor Brand's Instructions to guards 
other extracts from Order Book. 

52. Copy of letter, Governor Brand to Sheriff Conov< 
dated August 25, 1952, re fences and barbed win , 

53. Copy of letter Governor Brand to Gourlay, dated 
August 8, 1952, re fingerprinting jail employees. 


54. Copy of letter, Governor Brand to Sheriff Conover, 
dated August 26 , 1952, re exercise yard (hard 
surfacing) . 

55* Report Book of Outside Patrol. 

56, Sample of steel now used in #9 Hospital, 

57. Report of Supervision and Police Patrol at Toronto 
Jail area, from 12 midnight to 7 a.m. September 

S, 1952. 

5$, Copy of written instructions re operation of alarm 
at Jail. 

59. Specimen form of certificate for nightwatchman 
introduced by A. Noble. 

60. Governor Sanderson's Instructions to Mr. Noble, 
dated December £, 1951. 

61. Attendance registers for June 30, July 1, 2 and 
3, 1952. 

62. Key Inventory made September 13 and 14, 1952, 

63. Memorandum to Turnkeys, dated May 3, 1951, Governor 
Sanderson, re keys. 

64. Toronto Jail Nenu, November 6-15, 1952. 

65. Attendance registers 11:7 Shift, July 30, 31, 
and August 1, 1952, 

66. Attendance registers, July 14, 15, 16, 27, 2$, 
and 29, 1952. ' 

67. Copy of letter Sheriff Conover to Governor Rayfield, 
dated June 19, 1947, re retired guard A. King. 

68. Copy of Memorandum of law re jail guards addressed 
to Controller Lamport, October 20, 1949. 

69. Enamel cup and socks, and plaster cast. 

70. Attendance registers 11:7 Shift, August 16, 23,30, 
and September 6, 1952. 

71. Attendance registers 11:7 Shift, August 2 and 9, 1952 

72. Attendance registers 11:7 Shift, June 14, 21 and 2$, 

73. Loose leaf Order Book for Chief Turnkeys from 
Governor Sanderson. 

74. Copies of letters introduced by Charles Sander 
Virgin to Conover August 29, 1951; Cunningham to 
Virgin, August 7, 1951; Frost to Sanderson, Novcmbt r 
19, 1951. 

75. Copy of lecture delivered by Sanderson to sta 
course . 

76. Copy of statement given by Boyd to John Nimmo. 

77. Copy of statement given by Valent Lesso (Suchan) 
to John Nimmo. 


7#. Copy of statement given by U.R.Jackson to John Nimmo. 

79. Copy of statement given by Boyd to Inspector Frank 

SO. Copy of statement given by 7. R.Jackson to Inspector 

Si. Memorandum of salary range for constables, Toronto 

82. Department of Transport Monthly Meteorological Report, 

September, 1952. 

S3. Historical data re Toronto Jail.